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NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO

 

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is an expression of the essence of Buddhism. With the chanting (reciting) of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo Let's reaffirm two fundamental beliefs:

By nature, every human being has the ability
1. To overcome the problems and difficulties of life.
2. To transform any suffering into something positive and to give it value.

We can bring the abilities described here out of our life because it is inextricably linked with the universal law of life. This cosmic, dynamic law of life underlies all work of life and the universe. When chanting, we “dock” ourselves to the limitless power of the universe, open it up within ourselves and can thus use it for our everyday life.

Nichiren, a 13th century Buddhist monk, on whose teachings the Soka Gakkai is based, awoke to this law or principle and established the practice of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. With the opening of this path he enabled all people without exception to bring out the inner strength of their own life. Nichiren's teaching and chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo go back to Buddha Shakyamuni, who founded Buddhism in India around 2500 years ago.

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the expression of our determination to bring our own Buddha nature to light in our lives. Focused chanting is like making a promise to ourselves to overcome all difficulties and even turn suffering into happiness. At the same time, it is a promise to help others discover this law in their own life and become happy too.

Nam
comes from the Sanskrit "namas" and means I believe, I trust or I dedicate myself.

Myoho
Myo stands for the mystical nature of life, the invisible essence of all life. Ho means law and stands for the perceptible, visible manifestations of life.
Myo also means death while Ho stands for life.
Through chanting we experience the three modes of action of Myo: We open our hearts and our lives, we realize that we are fully equipped for happiness as human beings and we can revive our original strength.

Renge
means lotus flower. Regardless of the swampy ground in which it grows, the lotus flower is beautiful and fragrant. It is an image for the power of Buddhist practice: In the midst of the "dirty" reality of our everyday life, we can bring out the beauty and dignity of our humanity. Difficulties and suffering serve as “nutrients” for our development as humans. At the same time, the lotus flower embodies the principle of the simultaneity of cause and effect: In contrast to other plants, it produces blossom and fruit at the same time. For us this means: We do not have to wait to become a perfect person in the future, but can bring the power of the Mystical Law out of our lives and apply it here and now.

Kyo
literally means sutra, teaching or voice. The Mystic Law pervades all life and the entire universe. In the same way, the sound of our voices connects with the rhythm of the universe when we chant.

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to chant means to trust in the mystical law and the unlimited possibilities of life. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is not a mystical invocation that produces supernatural power, nor is it turning to a transcendent being we rely on. Rather, it is an expression of our conviction: everyone without exception has the ability to change their life and their surroundings for the better.